A recent survey by the York Student Think Tank has shown widespread dissatisfaction among students in the availability of healthy food on campus. The survey, whose aim was to investigate the health status of students at the University, showed that the majority of participants rated Nisa as “poor” in both its food selection and prices.
More than 80 per cent who took part in the survey were not happy with the food prices in Nisa, and that the prices of the Halifax Nisa were greater than the one in Market Square. Two thirds of participants also complained about the lack of variety, with one student saying “none of it is healthy.”
The consultation suggested that proximity was a major factor in deciding where to shop for students.
This could have ramifications for students’ health, as the limited selection of food on campus could be driving students to choose convenient options instead of healthy ones.
The consultation noted: “during exam period, students are often constrained by time and tend to make poorer food choices with many increasing their consumption of junk foods.” Participants suggested that improvements should be made on campus to increase the availability of healthy food, particularly in vending machines.
Some students also suggested cooking classes in the first few weeks of term and information on healthy eating during exam season.
The survey also looked more broadly at student health, with 47.5 per cent of the participants labelling their own health levels as “good”.
A further change to students’ diets was found in the way they ate, with fewer students having set meals and instead preferring to “graze” throughout the day.
The report concluded that it was the University’s job make healthy foods more accessible:
“The current lack of these services is felt by many to have a negative impact on student health. It is the responsibility of this University to provide these services to students to increase and encourage healthy eating and lifestyle behaviours.”